Karr-Warren Easton state championship showdown on WGSO 990 AM Saturday
The largest crowd for the weekend will be on hand when unbeaten two-time defending state champion and top-seeded Karr battles No. 2 Warren Easton Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
You can listen to the game live on WGSO, 990 AM and at WGSO.com.
Ro Brown, Lonn Ellzey, Johnny Marchese and Jordan Liuzza will join me on the call of the game.
Karr prevailed in the District 9-4A showdown with Easton, edging the Eagles 21-20 on Nov. 1 and the Cougars have won the last four meetings with the Eagles.
In the first meeting, Lance Legendre of Warren Easton was stopped a yard short on a two-point conversion attempt with 57.7 seconds left after the Eagles scored and decided to go for the win.
Talk about a game of inches.
It would appear that inches separate these two talented, evenly matched, well coached teams.
Leonard Kelly has been outstanding for the Cougars. Kelly has completed 172-of-263 passes (66%) for 2,630 yards and 37 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Ronnie Jackson has rushed 135 times for 1,064 yards and 11 touchdowns while Daylyn Hill is the top receiver with 38 catches for 552 yards and eight touchdowns.
Senior Lance Legendre paces the Warren Easton offense. Legendre has completed 107-of-194 passes for 1,566 yards with 26 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Legendre has rushed 111 times for 555 yards and five scores.
Junior Ashaad Clayton is the top rusher with 134 carries for 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns. Clayton has five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Kiaeem Green is the leading receiver with 27 catches for 380 yards and seven touchdowns.
Both teams have standouts in the deep on defense with Arkansas commit Devin Bush for Karr and Florida commit Chester Kimbrough for Warren Easton.
The Eagles are looking for their first state championship since 1942 while the Cougars are in search of their fifth state championship.
Former Karr star Jerry Phillips of Warren Easton faces his alma mater once again, this time on the biggest stage.
“We’re excited,” Phillips. “A lot of people don’t understand but its hard, it’s hard to get to this game. I finally got over that hump and I have to face Brice (Brown) again. I can’t get rid of this guy. He and his team are used to playing in the Superdome. They are in it every year. I can’t wait until they move to 5A and get out of my way.”
What does Phillips feel will be different from the first meeting?
“I think for both teams, just clean up the mistakes,” Phillips said. “Both teams have a great coaching staff. Both teams have phenomenal athletes. It’s pretty much whoever blinks first is probably going to lose the game. You have to make sure your kids play disciplined football. You have to do what got you here. Just do what the kids are good at. It doesn’t seem like the moment is too big for the kids.”
Karr beat Warren Easton 20-12 in the 4A semifinals a year ago. The Eagles are poised and motivated to break through but Brown likes the challenge for his Cougars.
“I think it’s good that we’re playing them because the best brings out the best,” Brown said. “It is two groups of coaches that really know each other. It should be fun. It’s different every year that we go because it’s a different group of kids. Our approach has to say the same. The stage is different but the process stays the same.”
Brown, whose team has won 29 straight games, feels the game can be a uniting force.
“This is the best opponent we’ve played all year,” Brown said. “They know what we do. We’re very familiar with each other but I think this game is a testament to how good the football is in the city of New Orleans. So many things divide us. I think this game should really bring us together. The East Bank and the West Bank of New Orleans should really come together and celebrate the kids and what they’ve accomplished this season.”
Unfortunately, you cannot divide the championship trophy. Only one team will walk away with it.
“We hope that is us again,” Brown said. “We like those trophies and being the best.”
“We want to win it for our entire community,” Phillips said. “Easton deserves it.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…